Fasted cardio is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.. cardio… fasted. The idea behind it is that if your body doesn’t have a meal prior to activity then you will be more likely to use fat stores for energy versus using the consumed food for energy during your workout. There’s a lot of articles and research that study the effectiveness of being active on an empty stomach versus eating prior. While the results are pretty even as far as eating versus refraining from eating in regards to fat loss, personally, I feel that it works for my body and I prefer to eat post workout.
For me, fasted cardio doesn’t mean that I HAVE to get to the gym and do sprints on the treadmill for an hour, because guys, I’ve tried that… and it. is. hard. This was attempted at a point in my life where I had a lot of motivation to be fit and workout twice a day. This motivation comes and goes as I’m sure it does for a lot of you. One day you feel like you can climb mountains and conquer the world and other days staying in bed and watching Netflix sounds like a much better alternative. With that all being said, here’s why I really like the idea of fasted cardio. When you start your morning by making a conscious decision to be active, it sets your ENTIRE day up for success to make healthy decisions. Think about it, if you work out first thing, you’re going to eat healthier because you’ll want to continue that streak. I most often times even feel more motivated to work out later in the day because of the 15 minutes that I decided to do something that was good for my body. SO, what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to kill yourself, just move around a bit and get your heart rate up right when you wake up. It’s good for you!
HERE’S WHAT I DO:
OPTION 1: WALKING ON AN INCLINE
Sometimes when I’m feeling like getting out of the house i’ll throw on my workout gear and head to the gym. I jump on a treadmill and crank the incline up as high as it will go, then I’ll try to do a fast paced walk for about 15-20 minutes. It doesn’t sound incredibly hard, but by minute 5 your heart is going to be pumping.
OPTION 2: JUMP OUT OF BED AND MOVE
Now for times when going to the gym first thing in the morning sounds like my own personal version of hell I like to do the following movements right when I pop out of bed.
- jumping jacks – 3 minutes
- jump squats – 3 minutes
- jump lunges – 3 minutes
- dance – 6-10 minutes
I try to do the above movements for around 15 minutes, personally, I don’t think it matters how long you do each one of the exercises for, the point is to just jump around for as long as you can stand it.
OPTION 3: JUMP ROPE
I LOVE TO JUMP ROPE. Truly one of my favorite ways to get cardio in because I feel like I’m focusing on not tripping up on the rope so I forget how hard my body is working. (This might just be the circumstance for someone as uncoordinated as me and has to actually focus on that… LOL.) I try to do this for around 15 minutes.
OPTION 4: SWIM
If you have a pool or like to swim in the ocean, try going for a brisk swim in the morning. Try to stay moving for around 15 minutes.
OPTION 5: TAKE YOUR PUP ON A WALK / GO ON A WALK OUTSIDE
If you have dogs… this is a great opportunity to get you and your furry best friend outside and moving in the morning. A lot of times walking around the neighborhood I end up walking farther than I mean to… which is good… because then you have to walk back farther so I end up being active for a bit longer.
In conclusion, doing fasted cardio is a completely personal preference that just so happens to be my own. Regardless, getting moving in the morning is never a bad thing! So get outside, dance in your bedroom, or get your booty to the gym in the morning. It’s a phenomenal way to start your day on the right track.